No. 6 Salisbury University advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division III football playoffs after defeating No. 13 Union College (NY) 62-41 Saturday afternoon at Sea Gull Stadium.
The Gulls (11-0) scored on their opening drive in a back-and-forth, high-scoring first half battle against the Dutchmen (11-1). But Salisbury never let Union lead in the game. The 41 points were the second-most scored by the Dutchmen this season and the most that the Gulls have given up all year.
“We’re pleased to be advancing no doubt about it obviously it was a hard fought game, it was a team effort,” said Salisbury Head Coach Sherman Wood after the game. “It’s playoff football and the more you advance, the more you’re going to face good teams. And this one was a fight, but in the end we prevailed.”
The Sea Gulls and Dutchmen accounted for 1,051 combined yards. Salisbury showed a balanced attack with 305 yards on the ground and 215 passing yards from QB Jack Lanham, who went 9-15 with 3 touchdowns, while also rushing nine times for 29 yards.
Salisbury super back Mike-Ryan Mofor had three rushing touchdowns, the final one in the fourth quarter, solidifying Salisbury’s victory as the senior had his second straight over 100 yard rushing performance.
“I called it,” said Mofor of his final score, pausing confidently. “So I had to score.”
Sea Gulls defensive back Sean Carroll had two interceptions — one led to an eventual score, the other was in the end zone, ending a Union threat. Carroll also forced a fumble.
Dutchman wide receiver Andre Ross Jr., from D.C. (National Collegiate Prep), had eight catches for 219 yards and two scores in the defeat. Ross ends the season with 1,022 receiving yards, becoming only the third receiver in program history to break 1,000 yards.
The Gulls will host the No. 4 Muhlenberg College Mules (12-0) Saturday at noon with the winner advancing to the national semifinals on December 14. Even though Salisbury is lower-ranked nationally, they are higher-ranked in the region, earning the home game.
The 2019 Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl, the Division III Championship Game, will be played on Dec. 20 in Shenandoah, Texas.
Reigning National Champion Mary Hardin-Baylor also advanced to Saturday’s quarterfinals after its 42-6 win over Huntingdon.
WTOP Sports Anchor J .Brooks is the radio voice of Salisbury Football.